Are SAP Leonardo IoT Services Ready For Your Customer? Business Landscape
SAP announced the Leonardo innovation portfolio at SAP SAPPHIRENOW in May 2017. This is a grand vision from SAP for enabling the traditional ERP customers to build intelligent business applications. Out of all the components declared under SAP Leonardo, the Internet of Things (IoT) appears to be the earliest available service. Reports suggest that the Plat.ONE acquisition by SAP is playing an integral part to the SAP cloud platform and could be available as early as July 2017. We were invited to a trial run on this platform, called IoT 4.0, and here are our insights.
What we like
SAP IoT 4.0 is a tremendous improvement over IoT 2.0 that is currently available. A number of pieces missing in the earlier versions are now available on IoT 4.0:
- Gateway Edge supports multiple device protocols such as Http, MQTT, CoAP, SNMP, Modbus etc.
- Mass onboarding of devices is possible
- A semantic definition of the 'thing' model is available
- Analytics at the edge or in the cloud is available
- A vastly improved IoT cockpit allows for central management of tenants, networks, and devices
- Major improvement in troubleshooting tools for administrators including event log generation, network and device monitoring are available
- Rule definition and management can be carried out from the console based on the device status, device events, data returned by a device
The missing pieces
Despite the vast improvements listed above, there are several missing pieces that SAP needs to work on -
- Gateway Edge currently supports only a fraction of the device protocols (~6 out of 30+)
- Device onboarding still seems to be manual resulting in relatively high lead times
- Device data persistence is only supported on PostgreSQL database, where as other options such as SAP HANA would allow for faster analytics
- There is no clarity yet from SAP on integrating the IoT data with the other Leonardo services such as Blockchain and Machine Learning
In this context, it is advised that customers evaluate the present capabilities vis-à-vis the needs in terms of devices, protocols, analytics etc. before proceeding with an implementation project. However, it is recommended that customers already using IoT 1.0 or 2.0 from SAP migrate their applications to SAP IoT 4.0.